The last Australian side to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park. Simon Poidiven (L) with the Bledisloe Cup. Picture: Ross/Setford /FotoPacific
The last Australian side to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park. Simon Poidiven (L) with the Bledisloe Cup. Picture: Ross/Setford /FotoPacific

Sobering reality of Wallabies’ Bledisloe quest

There's at least 33 reasons why the Wallabies aren't getting carried away with their record breaking win over New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener at Optus Stadium.

While Australia's six-try 47-26 drubbing of the All Blacks will go into the record books as the Wallabies' biggest ever win over their greatest rivals, the players all know they face a monumental challenge winning again in Auckland next weekend.

It's been 33 years since the Wallabies last beat the All Blacks at Eden Park, when rugby was still an amateur game, tries were worth four points and the first World Cup hadn't even been held yet.

 

 

The last Australian side to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park. Simon Poidiven (L) with the Bledisloe Cup. Picture: Ross/Setford /FotoPacific
The last Australian side to beat the All Blacks at Eden Park. Simon Poidiven (L) with the Bledisloe Cup. Picture: Ross/Setford /FotoPacific

Just two members of the current Wallaby squad - Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sekope Kepu - had been born.

"Belief can do a lot of things but we are going to have to make sure that we are right on top of our game next week because we are going to be up against it over there," Wallaby halfback Nic White said.

"We haven't won for donkey's ages - 1986. So, a long, long time. It's a different beast over there so, as I said, we've got ourselves an opportunity now but that's all it is and we will have to go up to another level to be in with a chance over there."

 

Dejected Wallabies at Eden Park last year. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Dejected Wallabies at Eden Park last year. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

 

Man of the match in Saturday night's romp in Perth, White knows only too well how the Eden Park cauldron can destroy dreams.

In 2015, White came off the bench and scored the winning try in Australia's 27-19 win over New Zealand in Sydney, so was promoted to the starting line-up for the return match in Auckland a week later.

The All Blacks responded to their loss by smashing the Wallabies 41-13, with White missing out on a place in Australia's World Cup squad and being banished from international rugby until his recall just last month. Later that same year, New Zealand beat Australia in the World Cup final.

 

Kieran Read lifts the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park last year. Picture: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images
Kieran Read lifts the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park last year. Picture: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

 

"That's four years ago now. I've played a lot of rugby and it's a completely different time, different group and we're trying to build some momentum here," White said.

"We've got an opportunity now to go over there and that's all it is at the moment, an opportunity, and we'll work hard this week to hopefully take that. These opportunities don't come around all that much very often so we'll try to make the most of it."

Australia's in-form centre Samu Kerevi is also wary of the enormous challenge facing the Wallabies.

There's not a single player in the Australian squad that has ever won the Bledisloe Cup, with New Zealand having held the trophy every year since 2003.

 

Daryl Somers was the gold Logie winner in 1986. Picture: TV WEEK
Daryl Somers was the gold Logie winner in 1986. Picture: TV WEEK

 

Like all his teammates, Kerevi knows exactly how the Kiwis will come out all guns blazing next week.

"We know what the All Blacks can do. The last game doesn't take anything away from that. They're still, in my eyes, the number one team in the world," Kerevi said.

"I think I was nine the last time we won the Bledisloe and we respect our history and we respect how much they bring into the game with this Bledisloe Cup.

"We can't control what happened in the past, we can't control what's going to happen in the future but we can only control the controllables."

 

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